A pen pal for the digital era, Duet is a multi-platform digital art project about finding space for reflection, expression and connection in our daily lives.
Allowing for multiple levels of engagement, Duet features an app, an interactive web platform and a series of outdoor public artworks across cities in India and the UK, a collaboration between Invisible Flock (UK) and Quicksand (India).
Co-commissioned by Quays Culture, it allows its users to build a unique relationship with someone on the other side of the world and anonymously connects participants from India and the UK throughout 2017, and invites them to exchange details of their lives by answering one question a day through its app.
The App asks questions to prompt a mindful response, allowing participants to communicate in a more imaginative way and build a picture of their partner and their surroundings through shared messages.
Duet though is more than a cultural exchange app to encourage conversation; it is also an art platform, which uses technology to incite meaningful encounters. Each anonymous conversation adds to a web platform in real time, providing a beautiful portal into thousands of evolving global conversations.
Fleeting glimpses of the evolving personal relationships will be presented as a series of artworks, in public spaces throughout India and the UK too, capturing the differences and the similarities of the thousands of conversations taking place.
It is an evolving piece of art, relying on people to help create it. The Greater Manchester community and India are invited to download Duet, the app is free and available here on iOS and Android. Involvement is required just once a day, for as long as desired in the year.
Commenting on the co-commission, Lucy Dusgate, Creative Producer at Quays Culture, said, ‘Such an innovative piece of work by, Invisible Flock and Quicksand; Duet gives its users a momentary insight into other peoples lives across the other side of the world. To connect lives in this way and offer the rest of the world a window in to see these anonymous conversations is just inspiring.”
This year will see a year long-programme to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and UK cultural ties. The Year of Culture 2017 will see an exciting festival of events celebrating the vibrant cultural history of the two countries. The British Council and top UK institutions will partner with their Indian counterparts to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two nations, and showcase British creativity on the global stage.
Catherine Baxendale, Creative Producer from Invisible Flock comments, ‘Duet is a project we have been developing together with Quicksand for 3 years since we first met in Ahmedabad back in 2014. It is amazing to see relationships start to grow through the app and new connections between anonymous strangers being made. We feel very excited to see the project grow over the year as participants build the experience together’